Building a business is difficult. It requires a lot of hard work, time, money, and energy. Building a great business requires even more effort and several special ingredients. Among these ingredients are things like a healthy profit margin, durable competitive advantages, operational efficiencies, and scalability.

That covers the “what” you need to build a great business. But, how do you build a great business?

As any businessperson will tell you, an idea is great, but it’s nothing without execution. It’s all in how you execute.

Here are four keys to building a great business:

  1. Take care of your team.
    Day in and day out, your employees are interfacing with customers. When you take care of your employees and treat them like they matter, they’ll treat your customers even better. Kindness is contagious, so treat your employees like they mean the world to you, and they’ll do the same for your customers.
  2. Listen to your customers.
    Your customers are talking about you, whether you like it or not. If you don’t listen to all of their feedback (and even encourage it) you’ll fail to understand all the things you’re doing right. More importantly, you’ll also fail to understand all the things you’re doing wrong.
  3. Do what you say you’re going to do.
    If you tell someone you’re going to do something, do it. Don’t make excuses. Show up on time, return phone calls and emails, and deliver the results you promise. When you’re accountable, you build trust, and trust is a key requirement of all great relationships.
  4. The devil is in the details.
    Stay curious, stay hungry, and constantly strive to become better at everything you do. At first, all the little things you do may not seem like they’re making an impact, but over time they can have an immeasurable impact. Remember: it’s a marathon, not a race.